Middle East

Ron E. Hassner: Religion and Politics

Ron E. Hassner

Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes Berkeley political scientist Ron E.Hassner for a discussion of his book, War on Sacred Grounds. Hassner discusses the challenges facing international relations scholars and policy makers as they address political conflict in which religion plays a central role. He emphasizes understanding religion on its own terms in order to move toward rationally addressing the religious processes at work in conflict situations. Hassner defines the essential features of sacred places and describes the factors making holy places so contentious an issue in...

Robert Baer: Dealing With Iran

Robert Baer

Host Harry Kreisler welcomes former CIA operative Robert Baer discussing his book, "Iran--The Devil We Know," including: the craft of spying, U.S. policy in the Middle East, the emergence of Iran as a regional hegemon, and Iran's strategy and tactics as we witness the rise of its power. He discusses U.S. policy options in the region and the two major powers in the region, Iran and Israel. Baer analyzes the Iranian nuclear threat and the phenomena of suicide terrorism and concludes by assessing recent political turmoil in Iran and lays out what we know and don't know about which forces will...

Robert Fisk: Foreign Correspondent' in the Middle East

Robert Fisk

Robert Fisk, Middle East correspondent for the British newspaper The Independent, discusses his experiences covering Middle East wars for the last 30 thirty years.


Key Words: Journalists, Middle East, Terrorism, Al Qaeda, Osama Bin Laden, RIP

Philip Habib: The Work of Diplomacy

Philip Habib

In this 1982 interview, one the U.S. preeminent diplomats Philip Habib talks about his life and times as a foreign service officer and special envoy of the President of the United States. He reflects on great statesmen he has worked with, the difficulties of crisis management, and his involvement in the resolution of the Lebanon crisis, which won him the Presidential Medal of Freedom.


Key Words:...

John Philip Abizaid: The Military in the Post 911 World

John Philip Abizaid

Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes General John Abizaid for a discussion of the role of the military in the 21st century. Drawing on his experience as commander of the U.S. Central Command, he discusses the problems confronting the next President in the Middle East. He analyzes the lessons of the Iraq War and reflects on issues such as intelligence, the Geneva Conventions, and the role of military contractors.


John L. Esposito: Islam and the West

John L. Esposito

Georgetown University Professor John L. Esposito talks with UC Berkeley's Harry Kreisler about the complex forces shaping Islam and its relationship with the West.

Key Words: Islam, Middle East, Religion

Ira Lapidus: Islamic Societies

Ira Lapidus

Ira Lapidus, Professor Emeritus of History at the University of California, Berkeley, and the founding Chair of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies on the Berkeley campus joins Harry Kreisler to discuss Islam, its relation to politics, the treatment of women in Islamic societies, and how an understanding of Islamic history might inform U.S. foreign policy.


Key Words: Historians, Middle East, Islam,...

Ian Lustick: Coming to Terms with Israel

Ian Lustick

an Lustick, Professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania, joins UC Berkley's Harry Kreisler on this edition of Conversations with History to discuss Israel and its ongoing conflict with Palestine in the Middle East.


Key Words: Political Scientists, Israel, Palestine, Middle East, Zionism

Husseini and Beilin: A Dialogue on the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process

Husseini and Beilin

In this 1998 interview, Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes Faisal Husseini, one of the leading figures in the Palestinian national movement and Yossi Beilin, a leading Israeli political figure, for a discussion of how their mutual dialogue set in motion the Oslo Peace Accord. Both Husseini and Beilin talk about their lives and how their perceptions of the other took an important turn toward peace.


Galia Golan: The Israeli Peace Movement and the 2006 Lebanon War

Galia Golan

Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes Israeli political scientist and peace activist Galia Golan for a discussion of the peace movement in Israel. She reflects on the Israeli domestic situation, compares Israeli occupation policies to South Africa's apartheid, and analyzes Israel"s geopolitical constraints. She also compares the stability of superpower conflict in the Middle East during the Cold War with today's regional geopolitical situation, especially Israel's conflict with Iran.